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Movie Review

From as far back as he could remember, Maximo dreamed of only one thing: being rich and pampered. You know, having a peel-me-a-grape-while-I-lay-in-a-bubble-bath-sipping-champagne kind of lifestyle.

Of course, he didn't really favor the idea of laboring toward that difficult goal. His father always said, "You don't just wish for something, you must work for it." But he'd seen his faithful and industrious dad literally drive himself to an early grave taking that path.

No, young Maximo had a different route in mind to grabbing life's golden ring. He'd simply use his well-toned twentysomething body, dark eyes and purring Latin accent to woo and wow the rich old ladies living out their latter years in lush luxury.

And for a while that worked out very well. He even landed a wealthy old bag—er, queen of his heart, and got her to marry him.

However, years and years of bubble-bath-and-bon-bon pampering can make a body soft. You might say that Maximo's youthful sex appeal had exceeded its expiration date.

So when his ancient wife's cataraced eye falls upon a younger, more sprightly form, well, Maximo finds himself kicked to the curb, and with nothing but a foolishly signed prenup to fill his pockets with.

Maximo's only recourse is to seek out his estranged, single-parent sis, Sara, and her young son Hugo. Maybe they'll take him in until he can purr his way into another sugar mama's embrace. Reluctantly, Sara agrees to let him slither into their lives.

Quicker than you can say "rich Corinthian leather," Maximo spots his next mark. She's the extremely wealthy grandmother of one of nephew Hugo's young classmates. The problen is, 10-year-old Hugo is so awkward around girls his age that he hasn't even had his first affair. (A late bloomer, to be sure.)

So Maximo takes it upon himself to teach the nerdy pup the finer arts of sexy walking and sweet-tongued talking. With a little polish, Hugo might just open the door to an intro to that zillionaire grandmama.

It's an uphill slog, and truthfully a little selfishly manipulative, but that's what it takes to be a true Latin lover. You don't wish for it, you work for it. POSITIVE ELEMENTS Maximo has a number of poorly conceived ideas about how relationships and life should work. And though he retains many of those negative perspectives by movie's end, we do see his view of family change quite a bit thanks to his time with Sara and Hugo. He transitions from being a totally self-focused man—stating that he has no need for family—to someone who values his sister and nephew. After hurting people, he takes steps to heal the relationships. By the end of the film, he, Sara and Hugo all express their love for one another.

A young woman talks about the value of rescuing people and animals in need without expecting anything in return.

Sara is a consistent and loving mom who strives to protect her son. And in spite of Maximo's "teachings," Hugo stumbles into some important lessons about cultivating a relationships and respecting young girls his age. The boy also pulls his uncle into writing letters to their deceased fathers. Maximo writes an unmailed letter to his dad, telling him about the "amazing grandson" he has.

Positive Elements

Maximo has a number of poorly conceived ideas about how relationships and life should work. And though he retains many of those negative perspectives by movie’s end, we do see his view of family change quite a bit thanks to his time with Sara and Hugo. He transitions from being a totally self-focused man—stating that he has no need for family—to someone who values his sister and nephew. After hurting people, he takes steps to heal the relationships. By the end of the film, he, Sara and Hugo all express their love for one another.

A young woman talks about the value of rescuing people and animals in need without expecting anything in return.

Sara is a consistent and loving mom who strives to protect her son. And in spite of Maximo’s “teachings,” Hugo stumbles into some important lessons about cultivating a relationships and respecting young girls his age. The boy also pulls his uncle into writing letters to their deceased fathers. Maximo writes an unmailed letter to his dad, telling him about the “amazing grandson” he has.

Spiritual Content

When Maximo first moves in with Sara and Hugo, Sara asks him to say grace before dinner.

Sexual Content

It's suggested that wealthy older women like to have "boy toys" to keep them sexually satisfied. Rick, a gigolo friend of Maximo's, repeatedly recounts the many sexual roleplaying games he must play with his mistress, involving everything from domination to incest. Maximo plays out a particular (fully clothed) fantasy with this woman, too.

Early on, we see a young, fit Maximo strip down to skimpy undershorts and jump into a pool to grab the attention of a number of busty, elderly women lounging around an outdoor spa area. Years later, we see him use the same ploy, only this time he's rather portly and gray. Maximo's very elderly wife cheats on him with a younger man. We see her in a negligee.

Sara goes out on a date wearing a form-fitting, cleavage-boosting dress. To earn money, Maximo has Sara's car wrapped in a "mobile ad" that advertises a local strip club and features two shapely bikini girls. There are a number of light sexual giggles tossed around as Maximo takes Hugo through his gigolo lessons—ranging from discussions of the boy's virginity to techniques of seduction and what it means to be "great in bed." Sara talks briefly about her sexual parts, using the metaphor of a bakery.

Maximo has his body hair trimmed and dyed. The camera watches his expressions closely as the attendant uses a bleaching device on his nether regions. Two men repeatedly grab Maximo's crotch as a way of forcibly making their point. Sara and a man she's dating embrace and kiss.

Violent Content

The pummeling action on display is all Three Stooges-like, pratfall-filled stuff. But there's still quite a bit of it to absorb.

A man falls asleep and accidentally drives his truck through a house, for instance. Then the truck blows up. Maximo is repeatedly slapped and hit upside the head, sometimes sending him sprawling. And somebody is regularly grabbing or thumping him in the crotch. A running gag features a man in a wheelchair being hit by various swerving cars. Each time he cries out, "I'm OK."

A young woman who rescues stray cats is part of another painful-looking running gag. The animals are always leaving scratches and bite marks on her—starting out with a few nicks covered by Band-Aids to gradually covering her in bloody wounds and resultant heavy bandages.

Crude or Profane Language

Four or five s-words and a couple uses each of "h---" and "a--." One exclamation of "jeez" and several misuses of God's name.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Maximo and Sara get drunk on tequila and someone else drinks a beer. Rick smokes a cigar and talks about the "horse testosterone pills" his wealthy paramour has him taking. Maximo drinks champagne with a potential female mark.

Other Negative Elements

Maximo tells Hugo a number of silly things about women and their true desires. People steal things—including Maximo, who swipes someone's motorbike. There are several toilet jokes involving passed gas, residue left behind in a pool and nonfunctioning toilets.

Conclusion

As comedies about a gold-digger with a heart of, well, not-quite-gold go … How to Be a Latin Lover is one of them. The recognizable cast of actors are appealing and even fun to be around on occasion. And there are a few family focused bromides in the one-joke mix, too. (Though, most of the individuals delivering those platitudes aren't exactly people you'd want your kids looking up to.)

The bottom line is that this is a rather lowbrow, lightly crude and threadbare farce. It does a lot of winking at the sexual proclivities of uber-wealthy divorcees in their twilight years. Quite frankly, even if you like the idea of giggling at a pot-bellied, over-the-hill gigolo in a speedo, it'll be hard to really love this pic. No matter what kind of lover you are.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults

Credits

Rating

PG-13

Readability Age Range

Genre

Comedy

Author

Cast

Eugenio Derbez as Maximo; Salma Hayek as Sara; Rob Lowe as Rick; Raphael Alejandro as Hugo; Kristen Bell as Cindy; Raquel Welch as Celeste; Mckenna Grace as Arden; Linda Lavin as Millicent

Director

Ken Marino ( )

Distributor

Pantelion Films

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

April 28, 2017

On Video

August 15, 2017

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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